Saturday, December 31, 2016

Recording: chastity

Artist: chastity

Songs: Popular Belief + Saliva

Recorded at SPK Polish Combatants' Hall (Long Winter 5.1), December 2, 2016.

chastity - Popular Belief + Saliva

Even as it evolves, Long Winter still respects its (Fucked Up) roots with the inclusion of a punk-leaning band in the lineup. This Whitby quintet show signs of punk origins (including their lyrical takes on perennial topix like cops and skateboarding as heard here) but that's leavened with frontman Brandon Williams' moody distance.

[Long Winter continues on Friday, January 6th, 2017 at the Gladstone Hotel with a night featuring music from Han Han, Jessica Moss, LA LUNA, The Magic, M.I. Blue, Nautiluss, Queen Of Swords, Tough Age and WHIMM. It's all-ages and PWYC as always, but do note the new location — arriving early or buying a ticket in advance is recommended.]

[This is a mix with a recording by Brandon Caswell Douglas, who has some video posted from this night.]

Recording: Blonde Elvis

Artist: Blonde Elvis

Song: I Want to Be a Stranger

Recorded at SPK Polish Combatants' Hall (Long Winter 5.1), December 2, 2016.

Blonde Elvis - I Want to Be a Stranger

With their customary swagger and misanthropic bonhomie, Blonde Elvis took a drunken gallop through tunes from the recently-released On Agency and some new ones as well. Neil Rankin (of Germaphobes, etc.) is now in the synth textures chair, and nattily-attired to boot. Jordan on bass (who pins this number down nicely) was equally fancy on the band's opposite flank.

[Long Winter continues on Friday, January 6th, 2017 at the Gladstone Hotel with a night featuring music from Han Han, Jessica Moss, LA LUNA, The Magic, M.I. Blue, Nautiluss, Queen Of Swords, Tough Age and WHIMM. It's all-ages and PWYC as always, but do note the new location — arriving early or buying a ticket in advance is recommended.]

Recording: Twist

Artist: Twist

Song: unknown*

Recorded at SPK Polish Combatants' Hall (Long Winter 5.1), December 2, 2016.

Twist - unknown

Laura Hermiston and her crew seemed fully in control in the night's de facto headlining set, with the guitars ripping through their Spectral songs.

[Long Winter continues on Friday, January 6th, 2017 at the Gladstone Hotel with a night featuring music from Han Han, Jessica Moss, LA LUNA, The Magic, M.I. Blue, Nautiluss, Queen Of Swords, Tough Age and WHIMM. It's all-ages and PWYC as always, but do note the new location — arriving early or buying a ticket in advance is recommended.]

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Recording: Cupcake Ductape

Artist: Cupcake Ductape

Songs: unknown* + Get Over It

Recorded at SPK Polish Combatants' Hall (Long Winter 5.1), December 2, 2016.

Cupcake Ductape - unknown

Cupcake Ductape - Get Over It

The night's best set came from this sparkle punk side-project from Guelph's Alanna Gurr (Alanna Gurr and the Greatest State) and Steph Yates (Esther Grey). Sounding like LiLiPUT getting giggly at a sleep-over party, the back-and-forth vocals were a shambling/goofy bumper car ride, and sheer delight through each short songburst.

[Long Winter continues on Friday, January 6th, 2017 at the Gladstone Hotel with a night featuring music from Han Han, Jessica Moss, LA LUNA, The Magic, M.I. Blue, Nautiluss, Queen Of Swords, Tough Age and WHIMM. It's all-ages and PWYC as always, but do note the new location — arriving early or buying a ticket in advance is recommended. Also, Steph Yates will be one of the participants at The Music Gallery's The New Flesh event — a "circuit-bending, generative audio-visual presentation" on Saturday, January 21st, 2017.]

[This is a mix with a recording by Brandon Caswell Douglas, who has some video posted from this night.]

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Recording: Zoe Sky Jordan

Artist: Zoe Sky Jordan

Song: Suburbs

Recorded at SPK Polish Combatants' Hall (Long Winter 5.1), December 2, 2016.

Zoe Sky Jordan - Suburbs

With two stages on separate floors, this remounting of the Long Winter experience away from its former home at The Great Hall still had a steady stream of activity, even if it didn't quite attain the too-much-all-at-once-ness that gave Long Winters past their whiplash sense of dizzying overload. The downstairs stage was in SPK's dining hall with its fantastic mirrored ceilings that gave the room a bit of '80's chic (and enhanced the projected visual installation considerably). This local singer-songwriter (currently based in Nashville) lead things off downstairs with a set of sopisticated pop that had hints of, say, Emily Haines veering away from stadium love and towards Laurel Canyon.

[Long Winter continues on Friday, January 6th, 2017 at the Gladstone Hotel with a night featuring music from Han Han, Jessica Moss, LA LUNA, The Magic, M.I. Blue, Nautiluss, Queen Of Swords, Tough Age and WHIMM. It's all-ages and PWYC as always, but do note the new location — arriving early or buying a ticket in advance is recommended.]

Recording: Mazola

Artist: Mazola

Song: Podium Blues

Recorded at SPK Polish Combatants' Hall (Long Winter 5.1), December 2, 2016.

Mazola - Podium Blues

This "slack rock" quartet has been around for a few years but looks to be easing back into more frequent live action after a bit of a quiet spell. Mixing together c86-ish jangle, Weezerish popcraft and a soupçon of The Bicycles' whimsy they gave the impression of a group of friends hanging out — and it just sorta happened that they were on a stage playing a set while doing it, relaxed enough that even a broken bass string couldn't derail their vibe.

[Long Winter continues on Friday, January 6th, 2017 at the Gladstone Hotel with a night featuring music from Han Han, Jessica Moss, LA LUNA, The Magic, M.I. Blue, Nautiluss, Queen Of Swords, Tough Age and WHIMM. It's all-ages and PWYC as always, but do note the new location — arriving early or buying a ticket in advance is recommended.]

[This is a mix with a recording by Brandon Caswell Douglas, who has some video posted from this night.]

Monday, December 26, 2016

Concert Listings Roundup #181

You can read more about why I'm doing listings here. Long story short: This curated and decidedly non-comprehensive list contains nothin' but shows that I am going to/would go to if I had more time.


Gig of the week:

Tranzac New Years Eve Party (feat. Casper Skulls / Doldrums / Man Made Hill / Picastro / Isla Craig / Petra Glynt / New Chance) / The Tranzac 2016-12-31 (Saturday) [FB event]

A bit of a no-brainer here, despite a plethora of excellent Boxing Week food drives and fundraisers. A night with several moods, from Man Made Hill's repetitive party jams to Picastro's, um, implied party jams, the Tranzac always offers a jerk-free vibe and musical succour on NYE.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Lina Allemano [solo trumpet] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-12-27 (Tuesday) [FB event]

The Autumn Stones (B-17 / New Row / Field Trip) / The Horseshoe Tavern 2016-12-28 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Zacht Automaat (Fresh Snow) / Double Double Land 2016-12-29 (Thursday) [FB event]

Not Dead Yet/Stick in the City present (feat. Fucked Up / Fake Palms / Triage / Pedestrian) / The Silver Dollar Room 2016-12-29 (Thursday) [FB event]

Heretical Objects Cooperative presents: Xmas Food Drive (feat. Lido Pimienta / Persons / Poster Boy) / The Baby G 2016-12-29 (Thursday) [FB event]

Aurochs / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-12-30 (Friday – early!) [FB event]

The Ryan Driver Sextet / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-12-30 (Friday)

Simply Saucer (Dave Howard Singers) / The Garrison 2016-12-30 (Friday – food drive! $10 with non-perishable food items for food bank!) [FB event]

Sincerely, L. Cohen: A Tribute (feat. Benjamin & Seb of The Holy Gasp / Zach Bines of Weaves / Robert Dayton (The Canadian Romantic) / Craig Daniels / Marker Starling / Viktoria & Harley of Meanwood / Martian Crisis Unit / David Felton / Daniela Gassi / Stan Simon / Dylan Gamble / Fresh Flesh) / Smiling Buddha 2016-12-30 (Friday) [FB event]

Telephone Explosion presents: Xmas Food Drive (feat. Teenanger / Hooded Fang / WHIMM ) / The Baby G 2016-12-30 (Friday) [FB event]

Os Tropies (Baobá) / Rivoli 2016-12-30 (Friday) [FB event]

The Sadies (Duende / Pow Wows) / The Horseshoe Tavern 2016-12-31 (Saturday) [more info]

The Big Sound: 3rd Annual New Year's Eve Celebration / Mod Club 2016-12-31 (Saturday) [FB event]

catl (Eamon McGrath) / The Dakota Tavern 2016-12-31 (Saturday) [FB event]

Phèdre (Ice Cream / Scott Hardware / Prince Ness) / The Silver Dollar Room 2016-12-31 (Saturday) [FB event]


Add these to your calendar:

Reminder: This post only contains this week's updates — the full listings can always be found over on the right-hand sidebar!

Wave of Terror (Ohmno / King Creep / Beach Fox) / The Baby G 2017-01-07 (Saturday) [FB event]

Pickles Aid ["help ease the pain of Doc's Christmas Eve layoff"] (feat. Laura Barrett / Entire Cities / Young Doctors in Love / More or Les) / Junction City Music Hall 2017-01-12 (Thursday) [FB event]

Faster Presents: sQuiRreLLy SoUndS! (feat. Holger Schoorl/Tomasz Krakowiak / FASTER / Sarah Peebles/Cheryl O/Brian Abbott/Camille Emaille) / Gerrard Art Space 2017-01-13 (Friday) [FB event]

Audiopollination #50 (feat. Ambrose Pottie/Brian Abbott/Michelangelo Iaffaldano / Darlene Cuevas/Arnd Jurgensen / Maxwell McEachern/MJ Wright/Camille Émaillé / Bob Vespaziani/Tena Palmer/Michael Lynn) / Array Space 2017-01-14 (Saturday) [FB event]

Blanking [Daps Records EP release!] (S. Hard x Lee Paradise ["collaborative improvised electronic set"] / Context, NA [new project by WHIMM's Jonathan Pappo – live debut!]) / Holy Oak Café 2017-01-14 (Saturday) [FB event]

Wavelength 717: Class of 2017 (feat. The Sulks / Yi / Sahara / chastity / Cellphone) / The Silver Dollar Room 2017-01-21 (Saturday) [FB event]

Invocation Residency Series (feat. The Holy Circle / Terence Hannum) / Array Space 2017-01-22 (Sunday – all ages!) [FB event]

Light Industry [Chris Cawthray/Glen Hall/Jim Sexton] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2017-01-28 (Saturday) [FB event]

Freddy Pompeii Fundraiser (feat. members of Arson / The 'B' Girls / The Curse / The Demics / The Dents / Dick Duck & The Dorks / Johnny & The G-Rays / The Mods / The Screwed / The Secrets / Sid's Kids / The Ugly / Viletones / Zoom / Zro4) / The Garrison 2017-02-05 (Sunday – afternoon event!) [FB event]

Alex Calder (Lina Tullgren / Ducks Unlimited) / The Silver Dollar Room 2017-02-15 (Wednesday) [FB event]

SUNN O))) (BIG|BRAVE) / Queen Elizabeth Theatre 2017-03-14 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Recording: New Fries

Artist: New Fries

Song: Gertrude Stein Greeting Card from Pape/Danforth

Recorded at The Garrison, December 1, 2016.

Gertrude Stein Greeting Card from Pape/Danforth

Even (especially?) at the release show for their new 10" EP, New Fries tried to upend the settled order of how a band's set should go. Toss away the Flashy Opening Number and start with a meandering bass solo from Tim Fagan; and instead of a Big Finish, why not have most of the band wander off one by one at the end of a song, leaving keyboardist Ryan Carley to noodle for a bit before opener Carl Didur climbed up on stage to lean his keyboard on his knee and add some proggy widdle-wahs and see how long that could hold the audience's attention. But the middle! Mixing a couple older songs amongst the EP material, Anni Spadafora led the group through a display of their not-inconsiderable bent rock prowess, 3-D hamburger hypercubes swirling behind them.

Recording: Fountain

Artist: Fountain

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Garrison, December 1, 2016.

Fountain - unknown

"Post-punk" in the way that, say, Gang of Four were post-punk, this Montréal quartet's guitar jams were lean with a backbeat groove and evenhanded back-and-forth co-vocals. Live, there was more heaviness than on their recorded work, and they brought their whole set home in a brisk and efficient twenty minutes.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Recording: Private Joy

Artist: Private Joy

Songs: [two unknown songs]*

Recorded at The Garrison, December 1, 2016.

Private Joy - [two unknown songs]

Although the name was unfamiliar to me, once they hit the stage I put it together that this was the band formerly known as Farang under a new moniker. Featuring the same heavy punk pummelling and saucy snarl, there isn't a bold new direction to go with the new name, but there was a new set of equally impressive quick in-and-out songs. And once more, they're not too effusive online — there's a couple songs on bandcamp, but not much else.

* Does anyone know the titles to these? Please leave a comment!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Concert Listings Roundup #180

You can read more about why I'm doing listings here. Long story short: This curated and decidedly non-comprehensive list contains nothin' but shows that I am going to/would go to if I had more time.


Gig of the week:

Jennifer Castle (Fiver / Damian Rogers) / The Horseshoe Tavern 2016-12-21 (Wednesday) [more info]

The concert scene is thin this weekend, for some reason, but there's lots to do in the earlier part of the week. Best of all, Jennifer Castle is returning with another birthday/solstice celebration, this time out at the 'Shoe. Essential recalibration for anyone looking ahead to winter with dread instead of a sense of celebration. (Those wanting to celebrate the solstice in a different way should check out the Winter's Drone event at the Tranzac on the same night.)


This week's noteworthy shows:

Arraymusic presents Session #43 (feat. Lina Allemano/Rob Clutton/Nicole Rampersaud/Martin Arnold) / Array Space 2016-12-19 (Monday – PWYC!)

Music Gallery Departures Series (feat. Andrea Parkins with Lina Allemano, Germaine Liu, Jason Doell / JOYFULTALK / Magic Hour) / The Music Gallery 2016-12-20 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Pins & Needles (Language Arts / Lonely Parade / Nikki Fierce) / Smiling Buddha 2016-12-20 (Tuesday – all ages!) [FB event]

Henri Fabergé presents Heligoland: Sol Sacrifice / Owl's Club 2016-12-20 (Tuesday) [FB event]

No Octopus Dances with Nicole Rampersaud (Rémy Bélanger de Beauport [solo cello]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-12-21 (Wednesday – 8 p.m. start!) [FB event]

Winter's Drone (feat. Ruins of Utopia [Alan Bloor/Bryan W. Bray/David Jones – debut performance!] / Murr / Loupe) / The Tranzac (Tiki Room) 2016-12-21 (Wednesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Kith & Kin and Friends / Burdock Music Hall 2016-12-22 (Thursday) [FB event]

Audiopollination #49.3 (feat. Rémy Bélanger de Beauport [solo] / Quintet Normand Babin / Rémy Bélanger de Beauport/Germaine Liu/Mike Lynn/Nilan Perera) / Array Space 2016-12-22 (Thursday) [FB event]

Connor Bennett/Aaron Hutchinson/Trevor Turple (Ryan Driver) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-12-22 (Thursday)

Standing Rock X-mas Benefit (feat. Darlene Shrugg / HSY / Tough Age) / Bovine Sex Club 2016-12-22 (Thursday) [FB event]


Add these to your calendar:

Reminder: This post only contains this week's updates — the full listings can always be found over on the right-hand sidebar!

The Autumn Stones (B-17 / New Row / Field Trip) / The Horseshoe Tavern 2016-12-28 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Zacht Automaat (Fresh Snow) / Double Double Land 2016-12-29 (Thursday) [FB event]

Not Dead Yet/Stick in the City present (feat. Fucked Up / Fake Palms / Triage / Pedestrian) / The Silver Dollar Room 2016-12-29 (Thursday) [FB event]

Heretical Objects Cooperative presents: Xmas Food Drive (feat. Lido Pimienta / Persons / Poster Boy) / The Baby G 2016-12-29 (Thursday) [FB event]

Aurochs / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-12-30 (Friday – early!) [FB event]

Simply Saucer (Dave Howard Singers) / The Garrison 2016-12-30 (Thursday – food drive! $10 with non-perishable food items for food bank!) [FB event]

Sincerely, L. Cohen: A Tribute (feat. Benjamin & Seb of The Holy Gasp / Zach Bines of Weaves / Robert Dayton (The Canadian Romantic) / Craig Daniels / Marker Starling / Viktoria & Harley of Meanwood / Martian Crisis Unit / David Felton / Daniela Gassi / Stan Simon / Dylan Gamble / Fresh Flesh) / Smiling Buddha 2016-12-30 (Friday) [FB event]

Telephone Explosion presents: Xmas Food Drive (feat. Teenanger / Hooded Fang / WHIMM ) / The Baby G 2016-12-30 (Friday) [FB event]

Tranzac New Years Eve Party (feat. Casper Skulls / Doldrums / Man Made Hill / Picastro / Isla Craig / Petra Glynt / New Chance) / The Tranzac 2016-12-31 (Saturday) [FB event]

Track Could Bend #22 (feat. New Positions / Melk / Clara Engel & Neil Wiernik) / Dundas Video 2017-01-03 (Tuesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Long Winter 5.2 (feat. Han Han / Jessica Moss / LA LUNA / The Magic / M.I. Blue / Nautiluss / Queen Of Swords / Tough Age / WHIMM) / The Gladstone Hotel 2017-01-06 (Friday) [FB event]

Bruno Capinan [Divina Graça album release!] / Small World Music Centre 2017-01-06 (Friday) [FB event]

Birth of Troubling Forms [improvised music played to play to Jean Cocteau's Orphée] / Array Space 2017-01-07 (Saturday) [FB event]

No Joy (Mimico / Sprawls) / The Baby G 2017-02-11 (Saturday) [FB event]

Mozart's Sister (Teen Daze) / Bambi's 2017-02-18 (Saturday) [FB event]

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Recording: Cameron/Cole/Perri/Rampersaud

Artist: Allison Cameron/Josh Cole/Sandro Perri/Nicole Rampersaud

Songs: [two excerpts]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), November 30, 2016.

Cameron/Cole/Perri/Rampersaud - [first set, excerpt 1]

Cameron/Cole/Perri/Rampersaud - [first set, excerpt 2]

A second outing from this electroacoustic driftscape quartet featured Sandro Perri rubbing his strings and sending the sounds through his reverb box; keyboard warbles and morse code dispatches from Allison Cameron; muted trumpet notes and rumbling resonance from Nicole Rampersaud; and bathysphere bass burbles from Josh Cole. At the outset, the group were playing even less than at their first gig together but it did build up into a quietly-floating sort of rumble. Looks like this unit is going to keep exploring together — now they just need a band name!

Recording: Mike Smith

Artist: Mike Smith

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Piano Party), November 30, 2016.

Mike Smith - unknown

Playing without sheet music, Mike Smith presented a half-hour of meditatively-flowing musique d'ameublement in the manner that he employs while warming up/zoning in at home. With melodic drift-kernels and exploratory riffs, these sounded like the seeds of songs yet-to-be.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Recording: Jonathan Adjemian

Artist: Jonathan Adjemian

Song: Song For Manasi

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Piano Party), November 30, 2016.

Jonathan Adjemian - Song For Manasi

When Jonathan Adjemian needed a last-minute fill-in for a set at one of his regular Piano party nights, he tapped himself, playing some Debussy (a recurring piano party fave) as well as some of his own "Adequacies", which are currently being recorded for an album.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Recording: Micro-Ritmia Ensemble

Artist: Micro-Ritmia Ensemble

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Tranzac's Main Hall (Music Gallery Departures Series), November 20, 2016.

Micro-Ritmia Ensemble - unknown

On the first really cold day of the year, The Tranzac's furnace was struggling to keep up but there were plenty of warm sounds in the Main Hall. That lead to something of a cold-shock for the visiting Mexican headliners, whose nine members were often kept busy shifting around from station to station on the stage. The brainchild of composer Ernesto Martinez, Micro-Ritmia is not only an ensemble, but also a set of compositions as well as a system for instant composition. The latter would often be accomplished by Martinez, sitting at the side of the stage relaying realtime instructions to the musicians via wireless earpieces giving verbal instructions to change the patterns or instrumentation.

Some pieces deployed deconstructed guitar riffs, with fragments being passed along by up to four players while other relied on percussion from marimba or drumkit — and in all cases, there was often a heavy dose of hocketing. A unique show, rewarding now only for the music but for watching to see the ensemble's method revealing itself — and given that this was a large ensemble travelling across the continent to make their debut appearance, this was definitely an occasion where an institution like the Music Gallery is needed to make it happen.

[The Departures Series heads home for the holidays, so to speak, with an onsite foray to the Music Gallery proper to host American composer, sound artist, and electroacoustic performer Andrea Parkins. She'll be joined by Lina Allemano, Germaine Liu, Jason Doell for an improvised electroacoustic set next Tuesday (December 20th). There will also be sets from Joyfultalk and Magic Hour.]

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Recording: Taktus

Artist: Taktus

Song: 28 Organ [composer: Aphex Twin]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Main Hall (Music Gallery Departures Series), November 20, 2016.

Taktus - 28 Organ

On the first really cold day of the year, The Tranzac's furnace was struggling to keep up but there were plenty of warm sounds in the Main Hall. Percussion duo Taktus, last seen presenting their interpretations of Anne Southam's "Glass Houses" for marimbas, still had a couple of those pieces in their repertoire for this set. But they're also torquing into a new project, this time resituating some of Aphex Twin's "jynweythek ylow" [mechanical music] into the analog world. The two composers were, perhaps unsurprisingly, rather simpatico: Southam's piano music is not only the work of a pioneering electronic musician, but also contains rigorous internal structures (her "Glass Houses #8" sounds like mathematics heading down to the islands for a tropical vacation). That meant those pieces fit in just fine beside another great "pattern" composer. (The pair also pulled from some interesting corners of the Aphex Twin catalogue, including this piece which emerged on last year's soundcloud "leak".)

[The Departures Series heads home for the holidays, so to speak, with an onsite foray to the Music Gallery proper to host American composer, sound artist, and electroacoustic performer Andrea Parkins. She'll be joined by Lina Allemano, Germaine Liu, Jason Doell for an improvised electroacoustic set next Tuesday (December 20th). There will also be sets from Joyfultalk and Magic Hour.]

Recording: Ben Grossman

Artist: Ben Grossman

Song: [excerpt from first piece]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Main Hall (Music Gallery Departures Series), November 20, 2016.

Ben Grossman - [excerpt from first piece]

On the first really cold day of the year, The Tranzac's furnace was struggling to keep up but there were plenty of warm sounds in the Main Hall. Playing in a small nest in the vee formed by pulling apart a pair of large marimbas, Ben Grossman's hurdy-gurdy drifted from lovely drones to sawing, buzzing overtones. Giving a shout-out to the background hum of the ventilation fan in the room, he faded out to near-silence, letting the room's sounds overtake his instrument's before busying his fingers with some baliset prog.

[The Departures Series heads home for the holidays, so to speak, with an onsite foray to the Music Gallery proper to host American composer, sound artist, and electroacoustic performer Andrea Parkins. She'll be joined by Lina Allemano, Germaine Liu, Jason Doell for an improvised electroacoustic set next Tuesday (December 20th). There will also be sets from Joyfultalk and Magic Hour.]

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Recording: Völur

Artist: Völur

Songs: Idisemorgen (reduction)* + Es wächst aus seinem Grab

Recorded at The Music Gallery (Emergents I), November 17, 2016.

Völur - Idisemorgen (reduction)

Völur - Es wächst aus seinem Grab

A slightly audacious pick to headline the season's first Emergents show, this demonstrated some out-of-the-box thinking from curator Chelsea Shanoff. As loud as openers Wapiti were quiet, this cowled trio's doom-ish metal rumbled the sanctuary's walls a little. This trio sees Lucas Gadke (bass) and Laura C. Bates (violin) — who I also recently saw as part of Gates — joined by Do Make Say Think drummer Jimmy P. Lightning.

Giving a sense of occasion to what they called their "first and last sit-down show", they lead off with the acoustic drone/chamber piece heard here before cranking things up with songs from their recent tape (google translate helpfully tells me that "Es wächst aus seinem Grab" can be rendered as something like "it grows out of its grave") plus some new material. Far more "metal" than a typical night at The Music Gallery, this brought out a somewhat atypical crowd for the venue — hopefully a few of them will be inspired to come back and experience some other unlikely music there.

* Thanks to the band for passing along the proper title to this piece!

Recording: Wapiti

Artist: Wapiti

Song: Spring of Chosroes [composer: Morton Feldman]

Recorded at The Music Gallery (Emergents I), November 17, 2016.

Wapiti - Spring of Chosroes

An evening of contrasts at the season's first Emergents show saw things open with this Montréal duo who specialize in quiet sounds, mixing Daniel Áñez's prepared piano plucks and Geneviève Liboiron's violin. Graciela Paraskevaídis' Viva Voce for solo piano included immense pregnant pauses to let clanged low chords reverberate in the room for as long as possible, while Nicolaus A. Huber's With Ego Amplitudes added slow-screech violin scrapes and some other extended techniques. This closing Feldman piece was inspired by the delicate details of a Persian rug, carrying over the source's careful construction and methodical weaving.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Recording: Shelly/Jurgensen/Vetro

Artist: David Shelly/Arnd Jurgensen/Harrison Vetro

Song: [excerpt, in two parts]

Recorded at Array Space (Audiopollination #48.2), November 12, 2016.

Shelly/Jurgensen/Vetro - [excerpt, part 1]

Shelly/Jurgensen/Vetro - [excerpt, part 2]

Audiopollination's fourth anniversary was celebrated in typical fashion — that's to say with an eclectic mix of musicians playing together in ad hoc small combos. The highlight of the night, and one of the best improvised sets I've seen this year, this was a too-rare opportunity to see David Shelly in action inside. Often found busking throughout the city (under the project name Treeotica), Shelly plays a custom-designed amplified tree branch. The wide range of sounds here come from bowing, scratching and tapping the branch, and running the resulting sounds from a contact mic into some pedals. Later on, you can hear the chiming sounds of a music box being held against the branch. Meanwhile, Arnd Jurgensen (on guitar) and Harrison Vetro (on percussion) provide admirable musical support here, holding back and not overwhelming Shelly's beautifully-delicate sounds.

[There are two Audiopollination events left before the end of the year: a special event on Sunday (December 18th) featuring electro-acousticians Sound of the Mountain, and an improv session with cellist Rémy Bélanger de Beauport on December 22nd.]

Recording: Lorne Shapiro & Mike Lynn

Artist: Lorne Shapiro & Mike Lynn

Song: [edited excerpt]

Recorded at Array Space (Audiopollination #48.2), November 12, 2016.

Lorne Shapiro & Mike Lynn - [edited excerpt]

Audiopollination's fourth anniversary was celebrated in typical fashion — that's to say with an eclectic mix of musicians playing together in ad hoc small combos. Very nice textures here from Lynn (on double bass) and Shapiro (on viola de gamba) — my favourite moments included some lovely small and subtle interactions that were just too quiet for my equipment to capture. But there's still lots to dig in the parts where the volume picked up a bit.

[There are two Audiopollination events left before the end of the year: a special event on Sunday (December 18th) featuring electro-acousticians Sound of the Mountain, and an improv session with cellist Rémy Bélanger de Beauport on December 22nd.]

Recording: Neil Wiernik & Darlene Cuevas

Artist: Neil Wiernik & Darlene Cuevas

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at Array Space (Audiopollination #48.2), November 12, 2016.

Neil Wiernik & Darlene Cuevas - [excerpt]

Audiopollination's fourth anniversary was celebrated in typical fashion — that's to say with an eclectic mix of musicians playing together in ad hoc small combos. Neil Wiernik provided both sonic and visual drift here, via his laptop. The visuals consisted of a series of images that would be subject to realtime manipulations, while the sounds provided a slowly-evolving dronescape to be adorned by Cuevas' vocals and occasional guitar.

[There are two Audiopollination events left before the end of the year: a special event on Sunday (December 18th) featuring electro-acousticians Sound of the Mountain, and an improv session with cellist Rémy Bélanger de Beauport on December 22nd.]

Recording: Bailey/Tapper/Matthews

Artist: James Bailey/Dan Tapper/Russell Matthews

Song: [edited excerpt]

Recorded at Array Space (Audiopollination #48.2), November 12, 2016.

Bailey/Tapper/Matthews - [edited excerpt]

Audiopollination's fourth anniversary was celebrated in typical fashion — that's to say with an eclectic mix of musicians playing together in ad hoc small combos. Dan Tapper provided some subtle laptop-based sonic interruptions to accompany Matthews' sax and Bailey's trombone (played, as usual, in various states of disassembly) building into a nicely-dreamy drone-drift with stereo noise spatters.

[There are two Audiopollination events left before the end of the year: a special event on Sunday (December 18th) featuring electro-acousticians Sound of the Mountain, and an improv session with cellist Rémy Bélanger de Beauport on December 22nd.]

Monday, December 12, 2016

Concert Listings Roundup #179

You can read more about why I'm doing listings here. Long story short: This curated and decidedly non-comprehensive list contains nothin' but shows that I am going to/would go to if I had more time.


Gig of the week:

Odonis Odonis (Doomsquad / Vallens) / The Garrison 2016-12-16 (Friday) [FB event]

Sweet salvation for musical locavores, this is an excellent triple-header with all sort of different vibes, mixing OO's dissonent electo-industrial downerism with Doomsquad's collective-consciousness groove uplift. Oh, and one of the best guitar rock bands in the city opening things up. Essential night.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Best Man [Felicity Williams/Justin Haynes] / The Emmet Ray 2016-12-12 (Monday – early! PWYC!) [FB event]

Blessings [Thom Gill/Robin Dann/Josh Cole/Philippe Melanson] / The Emmet Ray 2016-12-12 (Monday – PWYC!) [more info]

Queer Songbook Orchestra: Roasted Chestnuts, Holiday Fundraiser / Burdock Music Hall 2016-12-13 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Jenny Berkel (LUKA / Will Kidman) / Monarch Tavern 2016-12-13 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Wolf's Nacho Wednesdays (feat. Brodie West Quintet) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-12-14 (Wednesday – early!) [FB event]

Music By & For Ken Aldcroft, I (feat. Paul Newman [solo] / Alaniaris / Tania Gill/ Wes Neal/ Joe Sorbara Trio) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-12-14 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Yeomans (Planet Creature / The Lord Almightys) / The Piston 2016-12-15 (Thursday) [FB event]

Wavelength 716: The Pop Experiment Concert (feat. L CON / Coral King) / Imperial Pub 2016-12-15 (Thursday – free!) [FB event]

Party Hub: Interactive Networking Event / Live Show (feat. Zoo Owl / Johan Seaton / Western Plates) / The Baby G 2016-12-15 (Thursday) [FB event]

The Holy Oak Family Singers [Hejira live!] (feat. Thom Gill/Luke Kuplowsky/Felicity Williams/Steven Foster/Drew Smith/Robin Dann/Bram Gielen/Charlotte Cornfield/Phil Melanson/Tamara Lindeman) / Holy Oak Café 2016-12-15 (Thursday) [FB event]

STRESSER [demo tape release!] (Shahman / Sly Why: Kid / Eliot Roby) / D-Beatstro 2016-12-16 (Friday – all ages!) [FB event]

Holiday Wassail (feat. Kith & Kin) / The Music Gallery 2016-12-17 (Saturday – all ages + family friendly!) [FB event]

Holy Fuck (New Fries / Absolutely Free) / Lee's Palace 2016-12-17 (Saturday) [more info]

The Holy Gasp (The Sulks) / The Baby G 2016-12-17 (Saturday) [FB event]

NO DAPL: A Benefit for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (feat. VCR ["last show"] / The Boys / Mollot / Slurry) / Faith/Void 2016-12-17 (Saturday) [FB event]

Rare Drugs Presents (feat. Mattress / Potion / Plasmalab / Pink Acid Wash) / Handlebar 2016-12-17 (Saturday) [FB event]

Greydini's Holiday Bash (feat. Roman Pilates / Processor / Greydini) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-12-17 (Saturday) [FB event]

Professor Andy Dolgin's Medicinal Show #4 (feat. Professor Andy Dolgin and The Candy Apple Jazz Band) / The Cameron House 2016-12-18 (Sunday – free! early!) [FB event]

Susan Alcorn (Peggy Lee / Doc Dunn & Co.) / Ratio 2016-12-18 (Sunday) [FB event]

Audiopollination #49.2 (feat. Sound of The Mountain / Craig Pederson/Brian Abbott/Cheryl O / Elizabeth Millar/Laura Swankey) / Array Space 2016-12-18 (Sunday) [FB event]

Somewhere There Presents (feat. Bellwether4 [CD release]) / The Emmet Ray 2016-12-18 (Sunday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Burdock's Holiday Show for Girls Rock Camp Toronto!(feat. Lido Pimienta / Taylor Knox / Paul Saulnier / Mara Nesrallah / Sean Conway / Aley Waterman / Steven Foster / Tafari Anthony / Charlotte Cornfield / Bella and Georgia) / Burdock Music Hall 2016-12-18 (Sunday – all ages!) [FB event]


Add these to your calendar:

Reminder: This post only contains this week's updates — the full listings can always be found over on the right-hand sidebar!

Henri Fabergé presents Heligoland: Sol Sacrifice / Owl's Club 2016-12-20 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Winter's Drone (feat. Ruins of Utopia [Alan Bloor/Bryan W. Bray/David Jones – debut performance!] / Murr / Loupe) / The Tranzac (Tiki Room) 2016-12-21 (Wednesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Connor Bennett/Aaron Hutchinson/Trevor Turple (Ryan Driver) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2016-12-22 (Thursday)

Standing Rock X-mas Benefit (feat. Darlene Shrugg / HSY / Tough Age) / Bovine Sex Club 2016-12-22 (Thursday) [FB event]

Mulheres Tropicalistas: A Tribute to the Women of Tropicalia (feat. Os Tropies / Zeca Polina) / Burdock Music Hall 2017-01-07 (Saturday) [FB event]

As Though With Eyes Closed [works for cello and piano by Bekah Simms, Michael Vincent Waller, Nick Storring and Linda Catlin Smith] (feat. Paul Pulford/Cheryl Duvall) / Canadian Music Centre 2017-01-12–2017-01-13 (Thursday–Friday) [FB event]

The Cosmic Range [New Latitudes release celebration!] / The Great Hall 2017-01-19 (Thursday) [FB event]

The New Flesh [circuit-bending, generative audio-visual presentation curated by Tasman Richardson] (feat. Sherri Hay/Nohista/Jeremy Bailey/Jenn Norton & Steph Yates/Robin Kobrynski/Tasman Richardson/Katie Switzer & Paul Moleiro) / The Music Gallery 2017-01-21 (Saturday) [FB event]

Tonstartssbandht (Elliott Vincent Jones) / The Baby G 2017-01-30 (Monday) [FB event]

Dinosaur Jr. / The Danforth Music Hall 2017-03-10 (Friday) [more info]

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Recording: Deliluh

Artist: Deliluh

Song: Mass. Son

Recorded at Owl's Club (basement), November 10, 2016.

Deliluh - Mass. Son

This night was held down in the awesome space of the Owl's Club basement, a room feeling untouched by time, where it could easily be twenty or thirty years ago. This space has been the site of a few shows lately presented by Raw Materials, a loose coalition that's more of a co-operative than a label — they put out tapes and book shows, but also have their own late-night talk show. A lot of these efforts are overseen by Kyle Knapp, who's been putting on community minded shows at libraries and other cool spots.

He also fronts Deliluh, a band that seems to be shedding old skins and exploring new forms. A bit more of a ramshackle rock concern on their first couple EP's, things are being stripped back to the point that older songs are being reinterpreted solo or as a duo. This band incarnation sort of splits the difference, sounding at times like John Critchley fronting Pavement, but quite often the debris slide is being reined in and pushing the band toward sleep-rock territory. In fact, things were often at their best here when the band was languidly working their way into a song, such as on this set opener that has some violin textures from Ami Spears, before she switched over to drums.

Recording: Marine Dreams

Artist: Marine Dreams

Song: You Were Lucky 'Cause She Loved You

Recorded at Owl's Club (basement), November 10, 2016.

Marine Dreams - You Were Lucky 'Cause She Loved You

Once again, I'd gone a while without seeing a set from Ian Kehoe's Marine Dreams, so it was no surprise that once more the set had turned over with a whole new set of recent pieces. His pared-down observations keep cutting closer and closer to the heart of the matter — perfectly suited for a quiet room like this with just the occasional clack of balls from the pool table at the back of the room and muttered conversations off at the edges.

Recording: Clamaglamza

Artist: Clamaglamza

Songs: Surf Titty + Tammy's Fanny

Recorded at Owl's Club (basement), November 10, 2016.

Clamaglamza - Surf Titty

Clamaglamza - Tammy's Fanny

This new-ish duo is a joint project between Allyn Norris (of the recently-defunct DAS RAD) and Gabi from Ah La Lettre!/Teen Tits Wild Wives. Both are fine singers, and they played huddled around a single mic, bluegrass-style. They projected folky vibes, projecting a certain kind of wholesomeness as they played to the a small crowd seated on the floor. That was quickly upended, though, by their salty lyrical content — though for all their lyrics about titties'n'tush there was still an innocence about it all. More like the stylized bawdiness of days gone by, this all came with a knowing wink and a laugh.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Recording: Ken Aldcroft's Convergence Ensemble

Artist: Ken Aldcroft's Convergence Ensemble

Songs: [1st set, 2nd suite] + [1st set, 2nd suite] + Tangent IV [feat. Nicole Rampersaud] [suites contain music from The Wirecutter Suite's "Pickpocket", "Gospel", and "Mister, Mister". All compositions by Ken Aldcroft except for Wirecutter Suite by Joe Sorbara.]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), November 9, 2016.

Ken Aldcroft's Convergence Ensemble - [1st set, 2nd suite]

Ken Aldcroft's Convergence Ensemble - [1st set, 3rd suite]

Ken Aldcroft's Convergence Ensemble - Tangent IV

Another sombre celebration mixing joy and sadness following Ken Aldcroft's untimely passing in September. This event was a bit more geared to practical concerns, including a stacked-high merch table giving folks an opportunity to purchase all of Aldcroft's in-print recordings. It was also the launch of a cross-country tour that Aldcroft had been planning before his passing — the show would go on, even if in an unexpected configuration and a new raison d'être. This touring version consisted of Scott Thomson (trombone), Emily Denison (trumpet), Andrew Furlong (double bass), Joe Sorbara (percussion) and Karen Ng (alto sax). (Longtime Convergence member Nicole Rampersaud sat in on the second set as well.)

Just as the Convergence Ensemble was originally named as being a joining-together of a couple different of Aldcroft's existing groups, its music is based in principles of merger and recombination — mostly consisting of "suites" that mixed together sections of several pieces. Besides occasions where players could freely improvise in their playing, there's an improvisatory quality of instant re-composition, where a player could decide that a musical thread being played by other musicians could be complemented or counterpointed with something else. They'd catch the eye of another player they wanted to join them, and indicate what they wanted to play via a system of hand signals before launching in to alter the course of the piece. The art of it, in both the composition and playing, is how seamlessly it coheres.

[The music of Ken Aldcroft will live on, with his old regular Tranzac timeslot on the second Wednesday of each month now being dedicated to a new series called "Music BY & FOR Ken Aldcroft" curated by Joe Sorbara. The first instalment will be on Wednesday, December 14th with music by Paul Newman, Alaniaris and Tania Gill/Wes Neal/Joe Sorbara.]

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Recording: West-Gill-Orechin

Artist: Brodie West/Tania Gill/Alexei Orechin

Songs: Untitled [composer: Tania Gill] + Rhubarb [composer: Aphex Twin/arr. Orechin]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), November 9, 2016.

West-Gill-Orechin - Untitled

West-Gill-Orechin - Rhubarb

One of those process-heavy and super-informal occasions that can make an evening at The Tranzac so intriguing. This early set convened by Brodie West (alto sax) saw him joined by Tania Gill on piano and Alexei Orechin on acoustic guitar. (I've also seen the latter exploring ambient zones and tape textures with his No Seas project.) Everyone brought a piece or two to play, and a couple standards were tackled — there were some introductions between the players and time for between-song huddles over charts before plunging into freshly-negotiated arrangements. There was a unity of sound here — shades of sophisticated/arranged pop, rendered with a delicate sensibility.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Recording: Kyle Brenders Big Band

Artist: Kyle Brenders Big Band

Songs: Prudent + Rivers of Gold [Bry Webb cover]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (416 Toronto Creative Improvisers Festival – Night 4), November 5, 2016.

Kyle Brenders Big Band - Prudent

Kyle Brenders Big Band - Rivers of Gold

This set closing out this year's edition of the 416 Festival also turned out to be a bit a chapter-closer for ensemble leader Kyle Brenders as well. On the eve of move out west to take up the position of Program Manager for Performing Arts at the Banff Centre, Brenders pulled together material from a few of his diverse projects to explore with this all-star big band.1 From ambulatory drift to sections of Brenders-esque lockgroove repetition there were a lot of tasty moments here. The meditative flow of Bry Webb's "Rivers of Gold" was previously essayed by the Massey Hall Band under Brenders' leadership and features his sax playing the main melodic line, with some lovely work on the vibes from Davison as well. I'm sure Brenders won't be a stranger to the city, but the questing curiosity of his projects will be missed.


1 So far as I could make out, the ensemble on this night consisted of the following:

  • Kyle Brenders, tenor sax
  • Jeff LaRochelle, tenor sax
  • Karen Ng, alto sax
  • Peter Lutek, baritone sax + bass clarinet
  • Heather Saumer, trombone
  • Tom Richards, trombone
  • Emily Denison, trumpet
  • Rebecca Hennessy, trumpet
  • Tara Kannangara, trumpet
  • Scott Peterson, double bass
  • Brandon Valdivia, percussion
  • Michael Davidson, vibraphone

Recording: The Trouble With Billionaires

Artist: The Trouble With Billionaires

Song: Bonhoeffer*

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (416 Toronto Creative Improvisers Festival – Night 4), November 5, 2016.

The Trouble With Billionaires - Bonhoeffer

Under the nominal leadership of keyboardist David Story (who provided most of the compositions on this night), this jazz quintet sizzled with veteran savvy, pulling together the efforts of Glen Hall (woodwinds), Bruce Cassidy (EWI, flugelhorn), Terry Clarke (percussion) and Keiran Overs (double bass). Cassidy's work on the under-appreciated EWI was maybe my favourite thing here, especially on this track, where the it doesn't seem to be trying to approximate any existing acoustic instrument — the tonality could be described as MIDI-ish.

* This song's title was called out before it was played, so this educated phonetic guess could be incorrect? Please leave a comment if you know it for sure!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Recording: Heraclitus Akimbo

Artist: Heraclitus Akimbo

Song: Ken Aldcroft Is In The Room [2nd mvt]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge ("416 Toronto Creative Improvisers Festival" – Night 3), November 4, 2016.

Heraclitus Akimbo - Ken Aldcroft Is In The Room [2nd mvt]

Thoughts of an absence were on my mind when I was asked to play the 416 Festival, and I decided to bring this piece incorporating some field recordings I had made of solo guitar performances by the late Ken Aldcroft — a couple of which were from sets at the Tranzac. There was a site-specific element to this, at least in my mind, as I though about all the times I had seen him playing in the Southern Cross, whether to a packed room or to a couple people. Some of the recordings were manipulated into fragmented electronic sounds, which I recorded to cassettes and mixed in live under my keyboard loops — but I also wanted to give Ken's music a little space of its own.

[The music of Ken Aldcroft will still be in the room, with his old regular Tranzac timeslot on the second Wednesday of each month now being dedicated to a new series called "Music BY & FOR Ken Aldcroft" curated by Joe Sorbara. The first instalment will be on Wednesday, December 14th with music by Paul Newman, Alaniaris and Tania Gill/Wes Neal/Joe Sorbara.]

Recording: Mirapolis

Artist: Mirapolis

Songs: Raga + Louange à l'éternité de Jésus [composer: Olivier Messiaen]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge ("416 Toronto Creative Improvisers Festival" – Night 3), November 4, 2016.

Mirapolis - Raga

Mirapolis - Louange à l'éternité de Jésus

The last time I saw this exploratory trio (Noah Sherman, drums; Luan Phung, guit; Chris Rennie, tenor sax) wasn't in a super-great listening context, so maybe it's not surprising that I heard increased musical depths in the more refined Southern Cross environs. And it's hard to say if it was my increased familiarity or the musicians' several months down the road, but they came across as more organic, and not so much just "playing the dots". They moved from polite and in sync to sudden outbursts — the originals were more rangy, but I'm glad they're still also including their meditative slice o' Messiaen in their set.